CHS Pics | Be Bop Bars installation finds temporary home in Capitol Hill Housing’s 12th Ave Arts

12th Ave Arts played host to a unique musical experience during Thursday night’s Capitol Hill Art Walk. The “Be Bop Bars,” designed by Encore Architects in collaboration with JazzED, is an “interactive musical experience powered by people!” designed for the musician in all of us. A safe, low-voltage electric circuit completed by human touch, helps create a melody as you move from bar to bar. Continue reading

Ramen Hill: A brief tour of Capitol Hill’s ramen goodness

The recipe that has peaked the summit of Ramen Hill has some recurring ingredients: A legendary Japanese ramen house brings its proprietary broth recipe and one of a kind noodles to America, usually through a subsidiary or franchise, with one of its first if not only locations right here on Capitol Hill. Other recipes — like tiny Ooink — are entirely unique. But the trend is undeniable — Capitol Hill is now filled with ramen.

By CHS’s count, only four new Japanese noodle places have opened up on Capitol Hill in the past year. But with a small wave of openings in recent years, we have now reached a point that must be near broth saturation point. Below, join us for a brief tour of the newest slurp-y goodness now available to warm your rainy days on the Hill. Continue reading

Plum Chopped tucks into 12th Ave with lunch for 10 bucks

If she were upset about it, you would not be able to blame Makini Howell. In 2015, she opened Sugar Plum on 15th Ave E in her usual low-key way that put the vegan and plant-based treats and soft-serve ice cream before any hype. Now, Howell smiles as she has watched as the first six months of her latest new hype-free but extremely delicious thing quietly settle into its niche on 12th Ave next to her long-loved Plum.

Plum Chopped opened about six months ago, Howell says, and is filling in a major gap in the Capitol Hill daytime food chain.

“The idea is a quick healthy lunch on the Hill that won’t break your bank,” Howell said. “Lunch for $10.” Continue reading

Redwood has goodbye date as plans for new building — and possible future bar space — take shape

The future of the Redwood

This being Capitol Hill, it’s probably not hugely surprising that the public design review process for a seven-story microhousing project should be fully in synch with the fate of the dive bar it is set to replace. In an announcement coinciding with the project’s first review in January, CHS reported the news that the Redwood would be closing November 16, 2017. We can now report that, with the second and likely final design review meeting for the project coming up this week, the Redwood will NOT be closing on November 16.

It’s a Thursday, turns out. One final blowout on November 18th makes a lot more sense. UPDATE: Uh oh. Change of plans. The Redwood’s final night is Halloween.

“We plan to close our doors Saturday November 18th (thinking the weekend would be a good last chance to say goodbye),” Lisa Brooke tells CHS, “then we move all our stuff out and will bring it to Port Angeles, where we hope to open a bar/restaurant.”

The Redwood’s heart and soul will live on — it’ll just be on the Olympic Peninsula. Someday, a little Redwood could possibly rise again on Capitol Hill, however.

600 E Howell
The 76-unit Blueprint Howell development planned for the Redwood’s lot is designed by S+H Works to emphasize a “narrow and articulated” form that would focus the mass of the project along Howell and the west of the property while locating the street-level commercial space on the southwest corner of the lot. To make the preferred layout work, developers are asking for a series of zoning departures on the building’s setbacks — back in January, the design board was cool with the exceptions.

Design Review: 600 E Howell

There will be no parking spots for cars but the building should have space for about 56 bikes.

The project’s 1,200 feet of commercial space won’t be ready for years but it could eventually be home to a reborn Redwood or another project from the Brookes. Continue reading

Capitol Retrospective | The motorcycle hill climber who climbed Capitol Hill — Part 1

May 15, 1945. Image: WA State Archives.

On Labor Day weekend of 1929, 300 motorcyclists and their families roared into the sleepy resort town of Long Beach, WA for a motorcycle rally known then as a Gypsy Tour.

Aside from the three days of two-wheeled camaraderie that ensued, one rider raced ahead of the rest. His name was Marion Diederiks, an unknown motorcycle messenger from Portland who became “grand champion” after winning 8 out of 12 races over the weekend.

His victories included various pursuit and get-away races, the two-mile open, and a broad jump. Although a promising start of a career in racing, he curiously never won any other speed races like these hereafter. Instead he later found his true calling in a different form of racing known as the hill climb — a race to the top of rough hills that were so steep they were practically vertical.

Marion’s career negotiating these hills spanned two decades and culminated in the establishment of his own Harley Davidson dealership on a most unique hill — our very own Capitol Hill.

His fortune in cash prizes, his regional fame, and the tightly-knit group of riders he bonded with along the way made it all possible. The result was a dealership with a unique business model that wove standard sales and service and the spectacle of professional racing into the same fabric. And although this fabric abruptly unraveled with the onset of war and personal dramas, Marion kept the dealership going in one form or another for three decades on 12th Ave and later on Broadway. Continue reading

Despite activist wins, 12th Ave youth jail construction is full speed ahead

Construction is fully underway at 12th and Alder (Image: Alex Garland)

After a legal victory by activist group Ending the Prison Industrial Complex against the funding calculation of King County’s Children and Family Justice Center, construction at the 12th Ave project is still fully underway.

“There’s what we think should be happening and then there’s what appears to be happening and they’re not the same,” said EPIC’s attorney Knoll Lowney.

EPIC sued King County in April 2016 after the county over-collected property taxes under Proposition 1, enacted in 2014.   Continue reading

Man shot in leg overnight at 12th/Olive

A man was shot in the leg and police received conflicting reports about the possible shooter in a shooting early Thursday morning near 12th and E Olive St.

Police were called to reports of people yelling and multiple gunshots just before 2 AM near the 1700 block of 12th Ave. They arrived to find a male who had suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.

The shooter was initially described as a white male with a slim build, bald head, and wearing an all blue sweatsuit or possibly medical scrubs. But other witness accounts provided a different description. According to police dispatch radio reports, the victim told police the shooter had accused him of breaking into a car.

Police searched the area for the shooter. A K9 unit was not immediately available but a dog brought to the scene later helped officers search the area yard by yard. Police were also hoping to collect video evidence of the incident from a nearby resident.

We do not have further details but the male’s injuries were not described as life threatening by Seattle Fire radio.

Thursday’s incident took place a block from the site of a November 2016 shooting in which the victim eventually died from his injuries. SPD has not announced any arrests in connection with that case.

‘No New Youth Jail’ in King County? Services, ‘preventative programming,’ and peace circles

Protesters at a December rally against the planned juvenile justice center

Protesters at a December rally against the planned juvenile justice center

The League of Women Voters presented three panelists with the overarching question Thursday night — “How do we get to zero detention in King County?”

Through a series of questions focused on the $200 million project to build a new juvenile legal and detention center on 12th Ave, systemic racism, and the goal of zero detention for youth, panelists agreed there’s a lot of changes that can be made to incarcerate fewer young people in King County.

The three panelists had mixed opinions on whether or not the new detention center is a good idea.

Wesley Saint Clair said he struggles with where he stands on the project — the current building is in poor shape and costs more each year to maintain, the King County Superior Court judge said, but also the needs of the youth staying there aren’t being met. Ideally, there would be smaller facilities throughout the county, but that’s not feasible.

“We know incarceration is not a cure to much of anything,” he said. The right services need to be put in place to help youth before they end up in the detention center. Continue reading

‘Zero detention’ — Forum to discuss what ‘No New Youth Jail’ would mean

Protesters at a March Black Lives Matters rally (Image: CHS)

Protesters at a March Black Lives Matters rally (Image: CHS)

King County is moving ahead with its downscaled but still more than $200 million project to build a new juvenile legal and detention center at the site of the current facility at 12th and Alder even as it makes the case that it is moving away from traditional “youth jail” justice. Thursday night, the League of Women’s Voters will convene a panel for a public discussion on the “zero detention” movement:

Forum: How Do We Get to Zero Youth Detention in King County?

In mid-March, CHS reported on the county’s efforts to show its changing approach to juvenile crime and justice as the new facility moves toward construction. According to officials, the current 12th and Alder facility held an average daily population in 2016 of 51 juveniles, down 16% from 2015, and an even steeper drop from 1998 when the facility routinely held more than 150 people. Meanwhile, another 17-20 juveniles on average are held in the adult facility in Kent, owing to regulations surrounding their age and the crimes involved.

The new facility is slated to go on the same campus as the existing juvenile justice center along 12th Ave about a block south of the Seattle University campus. King County has been looking to replace the courthouse and administrative buildings for years, and is building a new jail along with them. The recession of 2008 held up plans for the expensive project, but in 2012, the county put a roughly $210 million levy before voters which passed by a 55-45 margin. The existing detention center has 212 beds. The new one could have up to 144, though County Executive Dow Constantine said he’d like it to hold to no more than 112.

“No New Youth Jail,” meanwhile, continues to be a rallying cry for activists and mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver has made the cause a major element of her campaign to unseat incumbent Ed Murray.

Capitol Retrospective | Dodge’s Triangle: Seattle’s smallest known piece of private property

1949-08-23 Sea Muni Archivces - Madison at Union and 12th (triangle)

Looking Northeast where 12th Ave E and E Union St intersect with E Madison St. Approximate dimensions of Dodge’s triangle highlighted in yellow. Image courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives

I want to say this Capitol Hill triangle spun me around in circles all week, but it’s a triangle, not a circle, so that won’t do. However, I can say that much like ships and planes are rumored to have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, historians and cartographers are rumored to have done the same trying to figure out what the hell the deal is with this triangle. What is it, how and why does it even exist? Well, you’re in luck, because after spending a harrowing week confined within its absurdly narrow boundaries, I’ve emerged to tell the tale.

It all started as a joke.

On April 16, 1916 Seattle Times broke the humorous story. They described it as a small triangular strip with about 6 feet on E Madison and about 5 and a half feet on E Union with a depth at the widest of approximately 4 feet. It baffled expert appraisers and architects alike who would dare attempt to price it or design a structure suitable to its size. Real estate mogul Henry Broderick claimed it was probably worth less than it would cost for him to properly appraise it and it would be hard to sell because a for sale sign would entirely obscure it from view. Someone suggested you could maybe install a gas pump, but the attendant would be obliged to rent the sidewalk from the city just so he could operate it. Jokes aside, things start to break down when you take a closer look at the matter. Continue reading